Even with the kitchen counters still weeks away I felt it was time to make something a little bit fancy. This was my first shot at duck wellington and it turned out great. I used wild duck breasts which affected the way to assemble and cook the dish. If using commercial duck breasts I suggest quickly searing them first. You will also want to trim a little fat from the breasts before searing, but make sure to leave some on to keep the meat tender while it bakes. You may need two sheets of puff pastry and more prosciutto as well. The recipe for the mushroom Duxelles stuffing is straight from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I really did not see the point in messing with such a simple stuffing. You may want to double the amount if using commercial duck as well as double the amount of horseradish sauce.
For Mushroom Duxelles
- 2 cups finely chopped assorted mushrooms
- 3 tbsp minced shallots
- 2 tbsp butter+1 tbsp oil
- 1/4 cup madeira
Squeeze as mush water from mushrooms as possible. Heat butter in oil over moderately high heat and saute mushrooms and onion until they begin to brown, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper and then add wine. Cook down until no liquid remains. Filling will keep in refrigerator for a week.
For the Duck
- 4 duck breasts
- 6 slices prosciutto
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- 1 tbsp horseradish
- 1 egg beaten with 2 tbsp milk
Mix horseradish with enough olive oil to make a thick paste. Season breasts with salt and pepper. On a large sheet of plastic wrap place prosciutto slices in a single layer that slightly overlaps. The prosciutto needs to be long enough to wrap around the breasts so layer accordingly. Spread the mushroom mixture evenly across the center of the prosciutto. Spread an even thin layer of the horseradish on each breast and place each in the center of the mushroom mixture lengthwise, butting each breasts against the next. Try to pick breasts that are even in size and width, or alternate small and large breasts to create the most even roll possible. Wrap one side of the prosciutto over the duck and then tightly roll it up. Wrap the plastic wrap around the meat roll and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out pastry sheet so it is long enough for the meat roll to fit inside. Remove meat from plastic and place in puff pastry. Roll the pastry up tightly, tucking in the ends and sealing with egg wash so there is one layer of dough around the whole thing. Cut away any pastry that remains and place roll seam side down on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Brush with egg wash and refrigerate 30 minutes or until ready to bake. Before baking score the top with the back of a knife but do not cut through pastry. Brush with more egg wash and bake in a preheated 425 degree oven until pastry is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.